Friday, December 5, 2008

Writing on the wall

This was the moment, in time added-on at the end of the first-half, that Cambodia went behind after keeper Seiha dropped an innocuous cross
It was always a possibility that Cambodia would come unstuck in their first game against the reigning champions Singapore, as they kicked-off the AFF 2008 Suzuki Cup in Jakarta, and that's how it turned out despite a plucky first-half showing. The final score was a 5-0 drubbing in Singapore's favour but it could've been a lot more after they finally managed to pierce the 11-man Cambodian defence moments before half-time. Goalkeeper Seiha dropped an innocuous cross under pressure from his own defender and Agu Casmir poked home the loose ball. It was no more than Singapore deserved. On sixty minutes a theatrical dive gave Singapore a second from the penalty spot, scored by skipper Fahrudin, and two goals in two minutes from Indra Sahdan and Casmir put the game beyond Cambodia - though in all honesty the result had never been in any doubt. Alam Shah wrapped it up in the final seconds to give the cup favourites the start they wanted and consigned their opponents to what we all knew in our hearts, that Cambodia are the competition's underdogs. Coach Prak Sovannara picked his strongest line-up but under strict orders to contain Singapore, Cambodia offered little in the way of goal threat and failed to produce a shot on target throughout the game. They found it impossible to clear their lines and the majority of the match was played in the final third of the pitch, though Singapore, despite their victory, were not as threatening as they should've been. Cambodia will be looking for a big improvement in their own performance and the scoreline when they face hosts Indonesia on Sunday.
The Cambodia line-up: 1 Seiha; 2 Chanbunrith; 3 Raksmey; 4 Tiny (20 Samprathna); 7 Borey (23 Piseth); 10 Sokumpheak; 11 Chan Rithy; 13 Narith (8 Saknida); 14 Sovannarith; 16 El Nasa; 17 Sok Rithy. I was caught out by the kick-off time which had been publicized as 6pm local time. In fact the game kicked off at 5pm so I missed the first twenty minutes, much to my annoyance.
New cap Sok Rithy was a surprise choice in midfield
Goalkeeper Seiha thanks Chan Rithy for clearing an effort off the goal-line
Coach Prak Sovannara finds his team still level until a minute before half-timeIn red Singapore's Aleksandra Duric up against Cambodia's Teing Tiny
Sun Sovannarith was one of Cambodia's brightest players
Goalkeeper Samreth Seiha boobed for the 1st goal but played well throughout. Apologies for the quality of the tv screen-shots from the match.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"With what regards personal ethics, I owe everything I am to soccer." Albert Camus, French writer - Regards, Antoine

December 5, 2008 9:10 PM  
Blogger TrooperBari said...

Cambodia defended manfully in the first half ... I was surprised how often they brought back a midfielder to help contain Singapore's front two, though.

Not going to get too much penetration if you're shorn of both fullbacks and an outside mid.

December 5, 2008 11:54 PM  
Blogger CHAMROEUN said...

Hi Andy, M so sad with the result but i think that Samreth Seiha did well his job as Goalkeeper.

December 8, 2008 12:15 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Seiha is a very promising young athletic goalkeeper, a bit on the short side but he shows great promise. It would be a wonderful opportunity if he was able to spend say 2-3 month at a British club getting some expert goalkeeping tuition. I wonder if that's a possibility somewhere down the line.
Anyway, I do worry about his fragility though. Because of his stature he suffers when he collides with an opponent or his own team-mate, he always appear to look in pain and the match against Indonesia wasn't the first game that he has had to go off the pitch.
I think someone with expert goalkeeping knowledge needs to muscle or bulk him up, advise him how to look after himself on the pitch and you may see him become one of the best goalkeepers in SEAsia in the future. He has a boyish charm and looks very young, so he has years ahead of him, and as we know goalkeepers can last well into their late 30s if they look after themselves.
As for the result, it came as no surprise but at least Cambodia offered a bit more in an attacking sense against Indonesia.

December 8, 2008 12:49 PM  

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